No Dark Magic

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Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read

Posted at — Dec 30, 2019

Hard to put down. The style of the writing is perfect for the subject: it’s all about facts, not drama or assumptions.

But the story itself left me confused. There’s much talk about courage of the survivors. I’m not sure what’s meant by it. Also, one of the most heartbreaking things in the book is mentioned in passing near the very end: there was a road 3 days out from the place of the crash. They’ve spent 72 days on that mountain. They could’ve got out in three. There was also a closed down hotel with a bunch of canned food 5 miles away (8 km).

Another tragedy is the actions of the parents. Incredible amount of effort during a critical time was invested into talking to clairvoyants. Clairvoyants! And searching (with volunteers also, so even more people were involved) according to the clairvoyants' directions. There’s a handy map in the book showing the areas “Area searched by the SAR” and “Area searched by the parents”. They don’t even overlap. The crash site is also marked on that map. It’s in the SAR’s search area. Stranger than fiction, indeed.

The rest of the story is pretty much what one would expect from a bunch of religious young men being on a snowy mountain for two months without any equipment and with some injuries.


(318 pages, ISBN: 038000321X, Worldcat, Open Library)

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